When you think about treatment programs to address substance use, inpatient treatment may be the first thing that comes to mind. And for those dealing with severe, long-term substance use, this sort of intensive treatment can be the best source of support toward recovery. However, not all substance use disorders require inpatient or residential treatment. For some, the best treatment option is a short-term outpatient treatment program. If you or someone you love is in need of short-term treatment, contact Anuvia today at (704) 927-8840.

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What Are Short-Term Treatment Programs?

These treatment programs are designed for those with mild to moderate substance use issues, who need some support toward recovery but who don’t require residential treatment.

What Are The Benefits of Short-term Treatment?

Just a few of the benefits of this type of treatment include:

  • Participants can work, go to school, and spend time with family while still accessing treatment and recovery support services.
  • Because participants aren’t living “on campus” in a residential treatment program, they have an opportunity to create an extensive support network outside the treatment center.
  • Participants will have time to work on the more personal aspects of recovery: creating healthy eating and exercise habits, developing self-care routines, finding new hobbies, and putting coping mechanisms into practice.
  • Participants have flexibility—many short-term programs have virtual/telehealth options, which can provide treatment access to those who may not live near a facility or have reliable transportation.

What Do Short-term Treatment Programs Look Like?

Those in short-term treatment can access a variety of services, including:

Each of these services can be tailored to the participant’s needs.

Group therapy

In group therapy, a psychologist or therapist leads a small group of individuals who discuss any difficulties or challenges they’re currently dealing with. Group members (and the therapist) may help others come up with ideas for overcoming their challenges, provide accountability, and serve as a sounding board.

Individual therapy

Individual therapy can complement group therapy. There, participants can work to implement the lessons learned in group therapy, develop recovery plans, and discuss anything they’re not comfortable discussing in the group.

Twelve-step meetings

Twelve-step meetings are another cornerstone of the recovery process. In these meetings, participants can acknowledge the impact their substance use has had on themselves and their loved ones, list and amend any wrongs done to others, identify personal shortcomings and celebrate their own and others’ achievements and milestones. And because 12-step meetings are available outside of short-term treatment programs, participants can continue attending these meetings even after the program ends.

Family education and support groups

Family education and support groups are designed to educate families on the mechanics of substance use disorder, help identify some ways they can aid their loved one’s recovery journey, and provide support for those dealing with the fallout of substance use disorder.

Relapse prevention programming

Relapse prevention programming can be critical to long-term success in recovery. Participants work with a therapist to identify any substance use triggers, identify supportive habits and activities and develop a plan to avoid relapse.

Chemical dependency education

Chemical dependency education explores the mental health and genetic links to substance use, how substance use affects the brain, and what to expect from the recovery process. Family members and loved ones can also participate in chemical dependency education, where they’ll learn about the signs that can indicate a loved one is struggling with drugs or alcohol.


Aftercare is any type of ongoing treatment provided after those in recovery have achieved sobriety.

Who Can Benefit Most From Short-Term Treatment?

Residential programs can be the best option for those who need detoxification services or who require 24/7 monitoring to prevent relapse. But for those who don’t require intensive treatment or therapy, or who have already spent time in an inpatient treatment program and need some extra support on their recovery journey, short-term treatment can be an ideal fit.

Enroll in Short-Term Treatment

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use and you’re wondering whether short-term treatment may be the answer, give Anuvia a call at (704) 927-8840 to discuss your options or learn more about the services we offer. Recovery is possible—and we can provide the support you need on your journey.

Short-Term Treatment FAQs

Are there any drawbacks to short-term treatment?

Some short-term treatment participants may quickly realize that they need a more intensive program—whether intensive outpatient treatment or residential treatment. In these situations, short-term treatment may not provide enough support. Luckily, the team at Anuvia can help transfer you to the most appropriate program for your needs.

How long do short-term treatment programs last?

The length of these programs can vary by provider. At Anuvia, short-term treatment programs can range from 20 to 39 hours, with two meetings per week—so the program can be completed in 10 to 20 weeks. These meetings are offered during both morning and evening hours as well as virtually to help them fit into your schedule.

How much does short-term treatment cost?

The cost of treatment will depend on the length of the program and the specific services sought. At Anuvia, we offer a variety of payment plans. Unfortunately, state regulations prohibit any sort of sliding fee scale based on income; however, our payment plans can make just about any treatment affordable.